3D printed carbon fiber material now available!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

3D printed carbon fiber material now available!

We are happy to tell you that finally after a few months of intensive testing we can add a new very strong and weather resistant material to our offering - carbon fiber!

Advantages of carbon fiber

Short fiber carbon fiber is very strong and fully rigid material (when shell thickness is about 2-3 mm). It is very water and weather proof.

Limitations of carbon fiber

The surface of 3D printed carbon fiber is a little bit rough because of the behavior of the short fibers. This problem is more common when we print big surfaces, like the copter frame bottom part. If you would like to have a clean and soft finish the parts have to be sanded and painted. Out of the box surface quality is usually enough for technical parts. One directional parts (growing from bottom to top when printing) are usually quite smooth (check bowling accessory example).

Of course short fiber carbon fiber is not as strong as high pressure manufactured long fiber carbon fiber plates are after cutting. Compared to long fiber printing material the short fiber carbon fiber has the benefit that it's strong in every direction while long fiber carbon printing material is very strong only in the direction against the fibers. For this reason we only sell short fiber carbon fiber which is also much more affordable than long fiber carbon fiber. 

Example projects

Here are some examples of customer projects made of carbon fiber. It's an excellent material for these parts.

 

 Project description  Pictures and videos  Price range
Stabilized camera gimbal

There was a need to make the gimbal as light and rigid as possible. For that reason we printed all the black parts of carbon fiber. The entire camera gimbal weighs only about 100g.

Printing ~125e 
Water propeller

This water propeller needed to be light and fully water proof.

The whole thing only weighs 99g and it is composed of eight blades that guide water flow. Each blade is only 0.8mm thick and they can still take the load of the water.

 Water propel

Design ~85e

Printing ~50e

Bowling ball accessory

We already posted one news about this project here

The customer accidentally broke one of the plastic accessories during storage and we wanted to try how carbon fiber would work in this use.

As you can see here, even the naturally rough carbon fiber is quite smooth in one direction, straight upwards.

 

  Printing ~35e
RC-copter bottom body frame part

This is an intereesting example of how we can continue the life span of a valuable objects after manufacturer support has ended.

The manufacturing of this RC copter model had ended a few years back but like all fliers know, sometimes you neeed spare parts after a crash.

We first designed the part by scanning the old broken part and then we printed out a new part of carbon fiber.

The part came out of the printer with very accurate dimensions and it fits the rame perfectly.

This picture illustrates the roughness of this material on larger surfaces. Usually this is not a problem in technical parts.

 

Design ~25e Printing ~15e 
Ski pole ring

This part is very light and durable. The purpose of the prototype is to test if ski pole rings can be made of non-flexible material. Time will tell if it works!

  Printing ~40e (requires a lot of support material)

 

Send us a request for a work estimate here and we can discuss if carbon fiber is right for your needs!

 

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